A very accessible and popular art installation.
This was first shown at Gallery 286 in London. With it I try to explore some of the mystery and myths that form part of our perception of woodlands. At 286 viewers often referenced childhood stories and experiences regarding mysterious forests and strange creatures. Some saw the tree as benign. I took these comments on board, and the piece has grown exploring these ideas.
A video of that first presentation at Gallery 286, with audience feedback, is here: vimeo.com/81039240
Singapore Night Festival was celebrating their 10th anniversary and wanted something that would work within their 100 year-old banyan tree to express the life within. I was happy to oblige.
Taking this to Singapore was an unfogettable experience - this year the festival had 600,000 visitors! And wow, what a city. And what lovely people. I urge everyone to go there.
There is a blog about it here - http://bit.ly/SingaporeNightFestival
My choice of music came from my own childhood. We didn't have much money, and for a while our record collection was four 78 vinyls: 'You ought to have a wife' by the Beverly Sisters; 'Somebody stole my gal' by Johnny Ray; Schubert's "Ave Maria"; and Harry Hall's 'Teddy Bear's Picnic'. Looking back, they seem to have defined something in me at an early age. After all, isn't all life in those four records - marriage, loss, religion, and fantasy? I played the latter endlessly, staging sections with my dog-eared teddies (now sadly long gone). So, when it came to choosing music that touched upon childhood mythologies, that record was an obvious choice.
The video was shot using the Sony FS5 with a Nikon 35mm f1.4 lens paired with a Metabones Speedboster giving me f0.9. I needed that to be able to see in the dark!
Many thanks to the models Jonathan Ross (who also runs Gallery 286). Katie Bailey, Peggy Vance, Laurence Wood, and Larysa Kwapisz. HUGE thanks to Chris and the Showtec team in Singapore. And immeasurable gratitude to Christie, May, Farhana, Cindy and the rest of the team in Singapore who made it possible. I will love you forever.